Mao's Last Dancer

Mao's Last Dancer

Book - 2003
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In 1961, three years of Mao's Great Leap Forward-along with three years of poor harvests-had left a rural China suffering terribly from disease and deprivation. Li Cunxin, his parents' sixth son, lived in a small house with twenty of his relatives and, along with the rest of his family, subsisted for years on the verge of starvation. But when he was eleven years old, Madame Mao decided to revive the Peking Dance Academy, and sent her men into the countryside searching for children to attend. Chosen on the basis of his physique alone, Li Cunxin was taken from his family and sent to the city for rigorous training. What follows is the story of how a small, terrified, lonely boy became one of the greatest ballet dancers in the world. One part Falling Leaves, one part Billy Eliot, Mao's Last Dancer is an unforgettable memoir of hope and courage.
Publisher: New York :, Putnam,, [2003]
Copyright Date: ©2003
ISBN: 9780399150968
Branch Call Number: 792.8092 L69325L
Characteristics: xvii, 451 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, genealogical table ; 24 cm


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Oct 28, 2015

The life of this young boy who became a famous ballet dancer is utterly amazing. The methods used to train these young people is incredible. Despite all, Li Cunxin became a famous person and found his life in other than Communist China. Anyone who is interested in the history of Mao's reign in China would truly appreciate this book.


Every person in China should read this book. It would be eye opening for them.

sultanov Aug 25, 2014

Loved it. Truly fascinating story about a young boy who comes from communist China and becomes the world star.

Aug 02, 2014

An easy and quick read. Fascinating first-hand account of surviving Mao's regime as seen through the eyes of a peasant's son. The opportunity through dance that eventually led to his freedom made the story even more interesting.

Dec 06, 2013

unxin's insight into communist China as well as into the art of dance makes for an absolutely compelling read.I had originally seen the movie based on this book when it came out a couple years ago (watch it - it will be well worth your while. Not only is the story great - which we'll get to here - but the script and acting were very good and the dancing was phenomenal) and have been waiting anxiously to get my hands on the book, which I was FINALLY able to do a couple months ago.

I thought this story was amazing - to read how hard a person can push themselves to succeed and to see how far a human can come - it's really just mind boggling. The writing is so descriptive, and the way everything is described is so foreign to everything I have experienced in life. It is an absolute delight to read how Cunxin describes the world. Even if you are not into nonfiction (like me) I highly recommend you read this book just so you can understand even a little of what goes on in some countries. I would also recommend you watch the movie, which is a beautiful work of art. It doesn't even matter which order you do either - they are both amazing stories. For the full review, head to my blog at OboeChica Books (so long and thanks for all the fish).

Apr 03, 2013

A very good book. Beautifully written. A book for all age groups!

Dec 14, 2012

I loved this book! I think any age group would enjoy it!
I loved how it gave such a clear insight to China, during Mao's reign.
It was really fascinating!

Jun 17, 2012

Wow. This was a really beautiful and inspiring story! My teacher actually lent it to me and I just got around to reading it (so I can return it) but I'm so glad I did! I found that the beginning was a bit slow, but that was mainly to introduce the setting, family etc. Once he got into the ballet academy, I was truly hooked. I haven't actually finished it yet (almost there!) but am really excited to read the ending to this. This book really opened my eyes to the world: the poverty, the politics and the different forms of art.

Mar 17, 2012

I loved the book and movie . Elena A.

Mar 17, 2012

What a great book, beautiful story. I recommend this book ! Li really have you hook on, cannot put it down. One of the best in a long time.

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Apr 03, 2013

Isabela81 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over


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